It was one of my first 5ks and the one that I had originally used as my motivation to start running again, so it's a nice trip back to see how far I've come and also to give a shout out to The Color Run for helping motivate me to get started.
So it didn't take much more than the videos to convince me that this was something I wanted to do. Plus, it looked like it would be a good, easy, low-pressure 5K for me to ease my way into racing competitively. So after posting on facebook, I conned a few more friends into joining me for a good time! One of my friends runs on a treadmill pretty regularly, but hadn't really done races so she was excited to challenge herself. The other two were newbies to running, but were so excited about the event! Plus, we ended up running into even more people we knew. It was a HUGE party in Downtown GR and everyone was there!
The check-in process the night before went pretty smoothly, except for the fact that there was pretty limited parking access downtown at Calder Plaze (pictured above) and I ended up with a parking ticket... BOO! But we got in and out pretty smoothly and it was nice to go the night before and check out the merchandise table. I wear size small for most shorts, so they almost always run out if I wait until the end of an event to buy something, so I was glad to see the huge selection they had of merch. A little something for everyone. Like most races, the stuff can get pretty pricey, but if you know that going into it, it's not so bad. And, as a bonus, when I went to check-in, I ran into a former student whom I had coached when he ran track in high school. He had gotten a job working for The Color Run and it was great to see him being successful and doing something that he was good at.
The morning of the run, we planned ahead for the parking situation and got downtown earlier than normal. The place was PACKED! so much to see and do! Everyone around was ready for a good time! When our heat was up, we made sure to get a spot near the front, up where the action was. We were dancing and singing and jumping around and just having a blast! The announcer did a great job of getting people pumped up and excited and, even better, was throwing out free swag if you were lucky enough to get something!
Once the race started, it went by pretty quick! The volunteers throwing color along the route were great and you could get as much or as little color as you wanted. There was music and everyone was grinning from ear to ear! I won't lie to you and say I met my goal time for this 5K. I actually ran it a little slower than I had hoped, but I still had a good time!
The after party was definitely the best part! The DJ did a great job and the crowds on Calder Plaza were in the mood to party, which only seemed odd because it was so early in the morning still! We went and danced on stage (Wobble!) and threw color and took TONS of photos! (See below!)
All in all, this was a great race and I definintely recommend The Color Run, especially if you're new to running. There was no pressure to go fast: in fact, the opposite! The slower you went, the more color you got on you and the better you looked at the end!
Some advice for you if you are planning on doing a Color Run:
WEAR WHITE! They tell you to do this, but not everyone does. It's way easier to see the color if you do though.
DON'T WEAR NICE WHITE! The colors will leave stains. Whatever the color gets on for the next few days actually... And the color will get everywhere.
PLAN AHEAD! If you can, check in the night before. Take your time. Enjoy the experience. Then get there early the next day and plan on staying after. This isn't a race where you show up last minute, run and then leave. It's a party!!!
BLOW YOUR NOSE! I know, weird, right? But honestly, you will get color up your nose. And in your mouth. And in places I won't mention in mixed company. But the nose and mouth were the worst. If you breathe it in, it can give you a cough for the next couple days.
And most importantly... HAVE FUN! That's what The Color Run is all about!